XRL Topside (Express-Rail-Link) West Kowloon Station
S16 Planning and S17 Review Application - major relaxation of building height restriction for commercial and office buildings.
Sun Hung Kai Properties won the record bidding tender then, for the plot above West Kowloon Terminus and seeks to bring transformational improvements to the previously approved scheme which was dated 10 years ago.
The site is a unique and have set a new precedent in terms of planning in Hong Kong for various reasons. First, it is a unique and major site in Hong Kong, the XRL forms part of the major territorial development and planning strategy, and it is both an internatioanl and regional transport hub consisting of four major railways: Airport Express, Tuen Ma Line, Tung Chung Line, and XRL. Second, the site is zoned as a Comprehensive Development Area which is intended to be an important office and commercial expansion of the CBD to enhance Hong Kong’s competitive advantage. The planning application is for building relaxation, and under the Remarks of the OZP is "Clause (8)", which provides more than a minor relaxation, and it is the only site in Hong Kong with such clause.
The planning application was rejected by the Metro Planning Committee (MPC) in early 2021. However, based on the meeting minutes and rejection reason, the MPC members provided constructive criticisim and comments which Masterplan saw an opporunity to improve the s.16 Scheme. Therefore, a s.17 review application was later submitted. The multidisciplinary design and planning team went through rigorous process to improve the scheme based on comments from MPC members, and to protect the existing ridgeline as viewed from Pier 7. The Revised Scheme was finally approved with conditions in August 2021, after a 4-hour hearing at the Town Planning Board (TPB).